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Compliance Updates

Brace Yourselves: Curaçao’s New Gambling Law Is at the Door!

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Curaçao is approaching the finishing line of their online gambling reform, with the new law being sent to the parliament. Markus Björk at Slotsoo has been in touch with both the Ministry of Finance and several Curaçao operators to find out how they feel about this big change. Do European license providers have a reason to feel threatened by Curaçao casinos 2.0?

LOK Now Just Waiting for Parliament Approval

On December 19th, Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance informed that the new law has been officially submitted to the parliament. The National Ordinance for Games of Chance, commonly referred to as LOK (Landsverordening op de kansspelen), is expected to come into effect in the first half of 2024.

Finance Minister Javier Silvania, the front figure of the reform, shares his excitement about this historical moment:

“We are very happy to reach this final stage. The submission of the LOK to Parliament is not just a procedural step, but a leap towards transformative progress.”

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No More Master Licenses or Middle Men

The current setup of the Curaçao casino license is very unique, with four master license holders being in charge of giving licenses to individual casino operators and ensuring their compliance to the regulations.

This has resulted in big quality differences, and if you were to ask ten EU players how they feel about Curaçao casinos you would get very varied replies. Another critique with the current system is that most of the financial gain goes to the four master license holders, while the island of Curaçao is left with light pockets.

LOK will put an end to master licenses and middle men and require all licenses to be applied directly from Curaçao’s Gaming Control Board. This means more uniformed quality and better control. The new law will also require gambling companies to have physical presence on the island, creating new job opportunities for the locals.

The Curaçao casinos we interviewed all welcome the new setup. Spinwise (Tsars Casino) sees some hurdles, but says it will be worth it in the long run:

“The prohibition of sublicensing by master licensees introduces a new financial dynamic for individual companies, albeit with associated fees. While adaptation to the new framework may pose short-term challenges, the long-term benefits are expected to outweigh these initial obstacles.”

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The Curaçao License Will Remain Tax Free

Curaçao has been a popular license choice for casino entrepreneurs ever since its conception. Alpha Affiliates’ Chief Legal Officer Alexandra Shepelevich lists the three main benefits of the Curaçao license:
  1. No tax on winnings
  2. No restrictions on player nationality
  3. Strong regulatory framework
Curaçao will not try to change this recipe with the new law. The Gross profit tax will stay at 0% for all license holders no matter how big or small the revenue is. This is a stark contrast to most licenses in Europe.
A common concern among Curaçao operators is that the new system will cause a high barrier for entry, which some see as a positive thing. The new fees for a Curaçao casino will be approximately 50000€ a year (annual license fee 24600€ + monthly fee 12 x 2050€ + yearly domain fee 250€/each, numbers based on current ANG-EUR exchange rates).
Another strategy to keep unserious casinos away is the introduction of a digital seal, which will be made available on 1st of January 2024. The digital seal is issued by Curaçao’s Gaming Control Board and will help players confirm that the website has an active license.

Keeping the Balance Is Crucial for Success

Finance Minister Javier Silvania shares that they had a very inclusive approach when drafting the new law. They consulted all the stakeholders to make sure LOK will consider different perspectives and not just serve one group. The country of Curaçao, its citizens, the gambling industry, and the players should all benefit from the reform.

Many license jurisdictions that go through a re-regulation fall into the trap of legislating too much, without the government listening to the industry or the players enough. This leads to fewer license holders and lower channelization rates, as both the operators and the players search for more attractive solutions from other countries.

All the casinos that we spoked to agree that a good balance between regulations and operational freedom needs to remain. Mark Wellington, Rollino Casino’s Chief Compliance Officer, elaborates this point in his interview with Slotsoo:
“One current challenge is maintaining a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring strict compliance with regulatory standards. Striking this balance is crucial to support a dynamic and competitive industry while safeguarding player interests.”

We wish Curaçao good luck with their new start in 2024!

Compliance Updates

LSports Receives Approval to Offer Sports Betting Data Services in Peru

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LSports has announced that the company has received approval from the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR). This regulatory approval marks a significant milestone in LSports’ expansion across Latin America, allowing the company to offer its comprehensive sports betting data services to local operators in Peru.

With this B2B license, LSports can now provide its advanced sports betting data solutions to companies in Peru’s iGaming sector, enabling them to enhance their offerings and compete effectively in the market.

Dotan Lazar, CEO of LSports, said: “This is a significant step in expanding LSports’ footprint in Latin America. We are delighted to be among the first data providers accredited in Peru. The market has great potential, and we look forward to helping our partners launch competitive offerings.”

Lazar added: “The acceptance of this B2B license reinforces LSports’ position as a leading sports betting data supplier in a region known for its passionate fans and vibrant sports culture. LSports is committed to supporting its partners in Peru and beyond, helping them navigate the complexities of the market and achieve sustainable growth. We offer free consultations on expansion strategy and encourage bookies to contact us.”

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Compliance Updates

WorldMatch Certifies Games for Peru

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WorldMatch has achieved a significant milestone by certifying its games in Peru with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru (MINCETUR), enhancing its presence in the Latin American market.

Fully compliant with Peruvian regulations, WorldMatch will enable local operators to leverage the company’s innovative and engaging online casino gaming content.

WorldMatch’s Commercial Director for Latam & Iberia, Carlos Garcia Carvajal, said: “WorldMatch has a proven track record of successful offerings in Latin American markets, and we are thrilled to be fully prepared and ready to provide our services immediately in the regulated Peruvian online market. Peru holds great potential as a market, and we are eager to support our partners in launching competitive online gaming content. Our premium game portfolio will offer an enjoyable experience for Peruvian players.”

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Compliance Updates

IBIA calls for LatAm jurisdictions to adopt robust sports betting integrity provisions

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IBIA calls for LatAm jurisdictions to adopt robust sports betting integrity provisions

 

Welcomes Brazilian requirement for operators to join an independent integrity monitoring body

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) today called for Latin American decision-makers to increase their focus on creating a robust sports betting integrity ecosystem to tackle match-fixing. The new Brazilian regulatory framework, which includes the requirement that licensed sports betting operators should join an independent integrity monitoring body, provides a template that should be replicated across the LatAm region.

The adverse impact of match-fixing on the Brazilian betting market and sport continues to be an issue of significant importance. IBIA therefore welcomes the recent publication of Ordinance 827/2024 and its integrity reporting requirements as a vital step towards addressing any integrity concerns. Brazil is poised to become an integrity leader in LatAm, which has seen IBIA report 127 cases of suspicious betting to the relevant authorities in the region over the last 5 years.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “The Ordinance’s stipulation that operators in Brazil must join an independent sports integrity monitoring body is helping to drive growth in IBIA’s membership and in our ability to monitor more betting transactions in Brazil’s regulated market. Our priorities are to further strengthen our monitoring and alert network and extend our information sharing agreements with partner organisations in Brazil and across the Latin American region.”

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The new regulatory regime has made Brazil an attractive market for licensed sports betting operators: it is projected to achieve $34bn in sports betting turnover by 2028, according to a recent study by H2 Gambling Capital. IBIA already accounts for more than 60% of the remote gambling market in Brazil, a figure that continues to grow, and has recently agreed an integrity information sharing and wider anti-match-fixing partnership with Genius Sports. IBIA is therefore well placed to support a crack-down on match-fixing in Brazil and wider LatAm as new gambling legislation gathers pace across the region.

Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA: “With legalisation comes renewed responsibility to protect the sports betting market, sports and consumers from match-fixing. Brazil has set a high bar on integrity, but there remains a lot of work to do in the wider LatAm region. Our focus must be on creating a robust sports betting integrity ecosystem across the whole LatAm marketplace. IBIA will therefore be working with its widening LatAm network to ramp-up monitoring and strengthen the collaboration between key stakeholders.”

IBIA is a not-for-profit body that has no competing conflicts with the delivery of commercial services to other sectors and is run by operators for operators to protect regulated sports betting markets from match-fixing. IBIA provides a free integrity monitoring and alert service to sports governing bodies, gambling regulators and law enforcement agencies, enabling all parties to cooperate in investigating, prosecuting and deterring sports betting related match-fixing.

IBIA’s monitoring and alert network is the largest and most effective of its kind. It harnesses the collective resources of the world’s biggest sports betting operators and can monitor and analyse $300bn in global betting transactions per annum. By monitoring transactional activity at the consumer account level it provides much more detailed and accurate information on suspicious bets to support investigations than systems which simply monitor betting odds movements.

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